On the men’s side, the Madrid Open has been low on surprises with seven of the top eight seeds still in the draw at the quarter final. It is 12 seeded Hubert Hurkacz that is the exception with the Pole taking on Novak Djokovic for a spot in the last four. Djokovic is 3-0 in this matchup so far, with wins on three different surfaces.
Djokovic will be well rested after getting a walkover in the previous round. Andy Murray’s illness meant that he was unable to take to the court for their Thursday morning match. With the No.1 looking a little fatigued in Belgrade, he will likely be welcoming an extra day of rest ahead of what could be a tough weekend.
Hurkacz will have benefitted from the work of Dusan Lajovic to get this far, with the Serbian responsible for seeing off Casper Ruud in the previous round. Hurkacz’s straight sets win against Lajovic brings him to 6-1 on clay in 2022, a huge improvement from last year’s 1-4 on the surface.
Djokovic had played five three setters in a row prior to his opening win here, something that probably paid a part in his eventual failure to win in the final. Against an improving opponent on the surface, he will need to be careful when it comes to making another slow start against someone who can serve big. However, he dealt well with the conditions in his opener and should be able to grind out the win.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets